Monsoon Session of Parliament: D Raja criticises Narendra Modi for silence over deaths of sanitation workers in Gujarat

New Delhi: The issue of manual scavenging and deaths of seven persons while cleaning a hotel sewer in Gujarat found a mention in Rajya Sabha Tuesday, with D Raja of the Communist Party of India (CPI) claiming Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not uttered a word on the deaths in his home-state so far.

Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to President's Address, Raja accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to impose a monolithic, illiberal and socio-political order in the country.

 Monsoon Session of Parliament: D Raja criticises Narendra Modi for silence over deaths of sanitation workers in Gujarat

File image of CPI leader D Raja. PTI

Raja claimed that dalits and minorities were being targeted in the name of majoritarianism and that the attacks on the two communities have increased manifold.

He said the government was spending crores on the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan (cleanliness campaign) but not doing anything for safai karamcharis (sanitation workers).

"Seven people were killed in Gujarat while cleaning a sewer, that is our prime minister's state, what a shame the prime minister he has not uttered a word so far," Raja said.

Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died earlier this month after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning the sewer of a hotel in Vadodara district of Gujarat.

The incident happened shortly after midnight at Darshan Hotel in Fartikui village of Dabhoi tehsil, around 30 kilometres from Vadodara city, police said. Three employees of the hotel were also among the deceased.

Besides, Raja sought to know the mandate given to NITI Aayog and claimed the government think tank was proposing that public sector undertakings (PSUs) be handed over to the private sector.

Kailash Soni of the BJP said in this country there are people who pass comments on Veer Savarkar.

PL Punia of the Congress said he did not find any reference to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the President's address. He batted for reservation for jobs in the private sector saying public sector has limited opportunities.

He suggested that Indian Judicial Services be set up.

Amee Yajnik of the Congress claimed that female foeticide and crimes against girl children were on the rise.

She said that women felt unsafe on roads and in public places.

According to her, the manufacturing sector in micro, small and edium Enterprises (MSMEs) has completely collapsed and there are no jobs.

Swapan Dasgupta (nominated) referring to West Bengal said that the state called number one has become number one in poll killings and election violence and sadly four people in Purulia were found hanged for being supporters of a particular party.

Demanding punishment to public officials who colluded in degenerating democracy, he stressed the need for electoral reforms.

He demanded that apart from Election Commission, the time has come for extending equal degree of supervision powers to local bodies like panchayats and gram sabhas.

"Area of jurisdiction of the Election Commission be extended to local self government," he said and added that the efforts were on to make Bangla vishakta (poisonous).

K Keshava Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samithis (TRS) said that the white revolution, green revolution and blue revolution mentioned by the President in his address actually happened during the previous regime.

Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena) said the ram temple would be built at Ayodhya by the BJP government and also that article 370 would be abolished by it.

Mansukh Lal Mandaviya (BJP) said government was making all efforts to take welfare schemes to the people.

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Updated Date: Jun 25, 2019 20:44:35 IST